Study challenges 'hookup culture' view of college life - New York News

Study challenges 'hookup culture' view of college life

Updated:

By: Lois M. Collins, Deseret News

When college life is examined through the lens of popular media, it's often portrayed as newly hypersexualized, a "hookup culture" with an unprecedented level of no-strings-attached sexual behavior. But when researchers from the University of Portland compared sexual activity of current college-age adults against the behavior of the same age group in the late-1980s and 1990s, the image doesn't hold.

"We thought we would find undergraduates having more sex, as well as a generally more sexualized environment," said Martin Monto, study author and professor of sociology at the University of Portland. "We didn't find that."

They did find differences, though, including later and fewer marriages and less expectation that relationships, including sexual ones, would result in marriage.

For the most part, they found sexual behavior has been "relatively consistent" for a quarter century.

Apples to apples

Both Monto and then-undergraduate student Anna Carey had gotten the impression that undergraduate students were more sexual, as was their environment. But they couldn't find any hard data to back it up and decided to investigate. They looked to the General Social Survey, which included data on more than 1,800 adults 18 to 25 who had graduated from high school and finished at least a year of college. They contrasted two time periods, 2002-10 and 1988-96. Those years were selected because both time periods had asked about sexual activity and attitudes toward sex and could be directly compared.

The more recent time frame has often been portrayed as a "hookup" era. But the term has been used broadly, with little consensus of what it actually means or precisely what degree of sexual activity it describes, Monto noted. They did not try to impose a definition, he said, but previous generations might have used the term "heavy making out" through actual sexual intercourse as a range of included behaviors.

Undergraduate students from the modern, so-called "hookup era" did not have sex more often or have more sexual partners either from age 18 or within the past year, he said.

Sexual mores

Today's students are no more accepting of sexual activity among teenagers 14 to 16 than were students in the earlier time frame. Nor are they more tolerant of adults having extramarital sex or premarital sex, compared to young adults in the past.

There were, however, some changes. Contemporary students are more tolerant of adult same-sex relationships than were those in the earlier group. And traditional dating is changing. The students described more "transitory sexual interactions between partners who have no expectation of a continued romantic relationship," he said.

While most claimed either a spouse or regular sexual partner, those numbers were significantly less for the more recent group than the earlier students, Monto said.

Of those who reported being sexually active, Monto said that modern young adults were more likely to report having a sexual relationship with a casual date or someone he or she picked up (44.4 percent compared to 34.5 percent in 1988-96) or with a friend (68.6 percent, compared to 55.7 percent). They were less apt to have a spouse or regular sexual partner (77.1 percent to 84.5 percent in the earlier-era group).

The findings were to be released Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Dead cats found hanging from trees in Yonkers

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:03:00 GMT
    SPCA of Westchester photoSPCA of Westchester photo
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
    Police are investigating the discovery of at least two dozen dead cats found inside plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers Thursday, according to the SPCA of Westchester. Some of the cats were badly decomposed but others appeared more recently killed.
  • Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Some residents return after NJ brush fires force evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:42:55 GMT
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
    A school and many homes in Ocean County, N.J., were evacuated on Thursday afternoon because of several brush fires that were fanned by winds. Some residents returned a few hours later. The largest fires burned about 300 acres around Berkeley Township. Firefighters had about 30 percent contained late Thursday night.
  • 'Here Lies Love'

    'Here Lies Love'

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:33 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:33:22 GMT
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
    "Here Lies Love" tells the rise and fall of former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos. History meets disco literally as the story is told in a nightclub.Ruthie Ann Miles plays Marcos. Miles admits a big challenge is bringing to life a woman with views vastly different from her own and giving that to show-goers. "As an actor you believe in yourself," Miles says. "You need to be your own best friend, your own biggest supporter so that the audience can come on a journey with you."
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices